Though conventional wisdom says people want thinner smartphones, Samsung and now LG are putting their money behind the concept that “real phones have curves.” After Samsung unveiled its curvy Galaxy Round smartphone earlier this month, LG on Monday unveiled its own curvy smartphone, the G Flex, which is expected to see its initial release date in November.
“The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The LG G Flex with its distinctive design, innovative hardware and consumer-centric UX represents the most significant development in the smartphone space since smartphone became part of our regular vocabulary.”
LG is still advertising its impressive G2 smartphone, but Argentina-based Telefe managed to get its hands on the LG G Flex, and journalist Federico Ini has chosen to release photos of the elusive smartphone to The Verge.
The LG G Flex, according to Ini, will release with a 6-inch curved display that make calls louder by reducing the distance between your mouth and the microphone when it’s held up to one’s ear. According to LG, audio will be a big emphasis for the release of the LG G Flex, as the phone has CD-quality Hi-Fi playback and will make calls 3 dB louder than flatter handsets. However, despite the curvy nature of the phone’s form factor, screen and even battery, the LG G Flex will not release as a bendable or flexible smartphone.
"The curved design also offers a more reassuring grip and fits more comfortably in one’s back pocket," LG said in a press release. "What’s more, in landscape mode, the display offers an IMAX-like experience, with the result being the most comfortable viewing angle for watching videos or playing games."
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The LG G Flex will also release with a 2.26 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, an Adreno 330 GPU running at 450 MHz, 2 GB of memory, and an embedded 3,500 mAh battery to power the whole device. The phone will also release with next-gen Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, NFC, and Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2, which is a disappointment considering the Samsung Galaxy Round will release with Android 4.3. As far as user features go, the LG G Flex will also release with a number of UX features from the LG G2, including KnockON, Guest Mode and Plug & Pop, as well as some new features like QTheater, which gives users access to multimedia from the lock screen; Dual Window, which divides the 6-inch screen of the LG G Flex for better multitasking, a camera timer that uses the rear key LED to indicate when the countdown has begun; and Urgent Call Alert, which flashes the rear key LED after several calls from the same person go unanswered.
The LG G Flex smartphone will release with a 13-megapixel camera to compete with a matching camera on the Samsung Galaxy Round, and its rear buttons will be mounted in a similar way to the LG G2, a design choice our reviewer called “awkward.” One cool new feature of the curvy LG G Flex is that its rear cover is said to be “self-healing,” which mean users will not experience the “daily wear-and-tear scratches and nicks” associated with owning other, less durable smartphones.
According to Ini, the release date of the LG G Flex will first hit South Korea in November, while its release date in Europe, Latin America and the U.S. has not yet been planned. LG has not announced any price information for the G Flex, but the LG G2 starts at $149 with a two-year contract.
What do you think of the LG G Flex? Will you buy this curvy smartphone when it sees its release date later this year?